The Pintupi People are from the Western Desert area west of Lake Mac Donald and Lake Mackay in Western Australia.
In the 1960’s, many were resettled at Papunya township in Central Australia to ‘assist assimilation’. In spite of this forced relocation from their homelands and attempted suppression of culture and language, much has been preserved through practice of their art, predominantly through the encouragement of Geoffrey Bardon.
In the 1970’s, Geoffrey Bardon assisted a group of elders, grand masters such as Uta Uta Tjangala, Yala Yala Gibbs, Mick Namerari Tjapaltjari, Johnny Warangkula and Charlie Tarawa Tjungurrayi, to transpose traditional designs and stories on to board and canvas essentially creating what was to become the revelation in the Australian art world introducing it to the broader Australian audience and indeed the world. Ningura Napurrula’s work now adorns a ceiling in the musée du quai Branly, Paris, France.
Sophisticated, perceived linear abstraction, typifies Pintupi works that are, however, deeply entrenched in sacred lore and ceremony.
The success of Pintupi artists and revenu from the sale of their works has enabled them to reclaim and resettle their ancestral lands and the establishment of the community ofKintore, approximately 300kms west of Papunya in the early 1980’s and Kiwirrkura another 200kms west in the mid 1980’s.
It was in 1984 that the very last Pintupi family group walked in to Kiwirrkura from the desert having lived a completely traditional hunter-gather lifestyle up until then. Known as the Pintupi Nine, amongst them were the now renowned artists, Warlimpirrigna and Walala Tjapaltjarri, Yalti and Yukultji Napangardi.